Thursday, May 15, 2014
If only Rick Scott was honest to children
When middle schooler Luc Kurec of Cathedral Parish School asked Governor Rick Scott about why parents of students who attend private schools had to pay taxes instead of getting a voucher, I wonder if the governor gave him an honest answer.
I wonder if he said public schools were for the benefit of all society and that’s why all of society contributes to them, including parents who send their kids to private school and people who don’t have kids at all too. I wonder if he said going Luc going to private school was a choice that nobody was forced to attend and that’s why it wasn’t subsidized with vouchers.
He could have gone on to say that the Florida Legislature really had to twist itself into knots to pass voucher expansion this year. They had to ignore their stated stances on STEM, teacher evaluations and accountability to do so, as those things are necessary for public schools but private schools that take vouchers can get a pass.
If he had more time he could have mentioned how Slate Magazine reported that 164 Florida schools, the second most in the nation, take money for vouchers and teach creationism as science. That the voucher bill was only passed on the last day of the session when a 141 page amendment was folded into a popular bill that had already passed an unprecedented move and that ninety percent of the schools that receive vouchers are religious schools, which many think violates the first amendment to the Constitution. He could have said that during the legislative session Step up for Students the group that administers vouchers admitted that they use public money to lobby for more public money and their waiting list is kept on the back of an envelope and that turned a lot of people off.
Then he could have mentioned how at the beginning of the legislative session, voucher proponents were basically offered the key to the treasury if they would have just accepted some legitimate accountability measures but instead of taking hundreds of millions more to help the students they claim are desperate for vouchers, they fought tooth and nail against them.
If he was being honest with himself or with Luc he could have said I believe they fought against it because they knew if they had to have stringent accountability measures, vouchers would have collapsed like a house of cards and to be honest why would we expect any less. Teachers at private schools don’t have to be certified let alone have degrees and their curriculums don’t have to be recognized. As he patted the boy on the head he could have said, little Luc, you might have great teachers but how many kids at private schools don’t. We not only don’t know but we don’t want to know.
I wonder if he had that conversation, or if he said, we’re working on it.
To read the piece, click the link: http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-05-14/legislators-
at May 15, 2014